We Resist: Day 152

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

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Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Trump Is So Awful, He Almost Makes Me Feel Sorry for Sean Spicer. Almost.


Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: McConnell Signals Senate GOP Will Jam Through Trumpcare After a Few Hours of Debate.
On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tried to get an assurance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that he'll allow the public to scrutinize Senate Republicans' secret health care bill for more than 10 hours before the Senate is forced to vote on it.

McConnell wouldn't make any promises.

"Will we have time — more than 10 hours, since this is a complicated bill — to review the bill?" Schumer asked. "Will it be available to us and the public more than 10 hours before we have to vote for it? Since our leader has said — our Republican leader — that there will be plenty of time for a process where people can make amendments. You need time to prepare those amendments."

"I think we'll have ample opportunity to read and amend the bill," McConnell replied.

"Will it be more than 10 hours?" Schumer said.

But McConnell wouldn't stray from his talking point, reiterating, "I think we'll have ample opportunity to read and amend the bill."
Absolutely unconscionable.

Tierney Sneed at TPM: Senate GOPer Previews Timeline for Obamacare Repeal Vote in Next 10 Days. "On the heels of reports that McConnell is pushing forward with the fast-track process, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) previewed the timeline as he understood it on MSNBC Tuesday morning. According to Corker, GOP senators will receive a rundown on the bill at a closed-door meeting Wednesday and then see legislative text on Thursday. That gives them just one week to review it for a vote planned before the end of next week, ahead of lawmakers' July 4 recess. 'We will work around the clock to make sure that we understand what's in it and we'll just see,' Corker said."

As fast as they possibly can.

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Andy Greenberg at Wired: How an Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyberwar.
The Cyber-Cassandras said this would happen. For decades they warned that hackers would soon make the leap beyond purely digital mayhem and start to cause real, physical damage to the world. In 2009, when the NSA's Stuxnet malware silently accelerated a few hundred Iranian nuclear centrifuges until they destroyed themselves, it seemed to offer a preview of this new era. "This has a whiff of August 1945," Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, said in a speech. "Somebody just used a new weapon, and this weapon will not be put back in the box."

Now, in Ukraine, the quintessential cyberwar scenario has come to life. Twice. On separate occasions, invisible saboteurs have turned off the electricity to hundreds of thousands of people. Each blackout lasted a matter of hours, only as long as it took for scrambling engineers to manually switch the power on again. But as proofs of concept, the attacks set a new precedent: In Russia's shadow, the decades-old nightmare of hackers stopping the gears of modern society has become a reality.

And the blackouts weren't just isolated attacks. They were part of a digital blitzkrieg that has pummeled Ukraine for the past three years—a sustained cyber­assault unlike any the world has ever seen. A hacker army has systematically undermined practically every sector of Ukraine: media, finance, transportation, military, politics, energy. Wave after wave of intrusions have deleted data, destroyed computers, and in some cases paralyzed organizations' most basic functions. "You can't really find a space in Ukraine where there hasn't been an attack," says Kenneth Geers, a NATO ambassador who focuses on cybersecurity.

In a public statement in December, Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, reported that there had been 6,500 cyberattacks on 36 Ukrainian targets in just the previous two months.
Me, just last week: "Earlier this month, I shared a Politico article by Ali Watkins which opens with a story about Russian diplomats, presumed to be Russian intelligence, 'waging a quiet effort to map the United States' telecommunications infrastructure, perhaps preparing for an opportunity to disrupt it.' I wanted to remind you of that before sharing this new piece by Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post: Russia Has Developed a Cyberweapon That Can Disrupt Power Grids, According to New Research. 'Hackers allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be the most disruptive yet against electric systems that Americans depend on for daily life, according to U.S. researchers. The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride, is known to have disrupted only one energy system — in Ukraine in December. In that incident, the hackers briefly shut down one-fifth of the electric power generated in Kiev.'"

And we have a president who doesn't give two fucks that this is happening. Except inasmuch as he may be actively ignoring it as an assist to Russia.

Holy fucking shit. Is the only correct response to that.

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[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Andrew Kaczynski at CNN: FBI Director Nominee Removed Reference to Case Involving Russian Government from Law Firm Bio. "Donald Trump's nominee to be the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, represented an American energy executive in 2006 who was being criminally investigated by the Russian government. The detail, which was included on Wray's biography on the website of the law firm King and Spalding dating back to 2009, was removed in 2017, according to a KFile review of the Web Archive. ...The line appears to be the one of few bits of information ever removed from the page since 2009, with most of the changes since then consisting of minor word changes and additions." What a coinkydink!

The following two items make for an interesting juxtaposition:

#1. Jonathan Swan at Axios: The Prosecutor Trumpworld Fears and Loathes. "Reuters is out with an interesting piece on Andrew Weissmann, the veteran federal prosecutor who's now working on Bob Mueller's investigative team: 'Weissmann, who headed the U.S. Justice Department's criminal fraud section before joining Mueller's team last month, is best known for two assignments — the investigation of now-defunct energy company Enron and organized crime cases in Brooklyn, New York — that depended heavily on gaining witness cooperation.' Behind-the-scenes: Trumpworld has been worried about Weissmann since they first got wind that Mueller added him to his team. ...Weissmann is known for his skill at 'flipping' witnesses — persuading them through high-stakes pressure to turn on friends, colleagues, and superiors."

#2. Paul Barrett at Bloomberg: The New Face of Trump's Legal Team Is the Christian Right's Pit Bull. "What may be even more weird is that [Jay Sekulow] is on Trump's legal team at all. The 61-year-old lawyer has an unusual professional and personal profile — one that doesn't include experience with white-collar criminal cases, which would seem to be what Trump needs at the moment. Sekulow formerly served as the general counsel for the organization Jews for Jesus. In the late 1980s, he became the leading U.S. Supreme Court advocate for the Christian right. While appearing regularly on Fox television as a legal analyst and hosting a syndicated radio show, he also runs interlocking Christian nonprofits that raise tens of millions of dollars a year and employ several members of his family. Asked about Sekulow's qualifications, Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's outside legal team, didn't directly answer the question. 'Jay is a member of the president's legal team in the fullest sense of the word,' Corallo said. 'He is also authorized to speak on television or otherwise.' Corallo said he didn't know how Trump came to hire Sekulow."

I'm going to hazard a guess that Trump "came to hire Sekulow" because he saw him on TV.

So, to recap: The Special Counsel investigating Trump — or at least members of his inner circle — has hired as part of his team a highly skilled federal prosecutor with specific experience in turning witnesses. Trump, meanwhile, has hired as part of his team a TV lawyer and professional showboater for the Christian right who may be running a charity nepotism scam not unlike the one Trump was running. Cool.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna, and Anthony Salvanto at CBS News: Trump's Handling of Russia Investigations Weighs on Approval Ratings. Hahahahahaha no way! Do tell. "Trump's job approval rating has dipped in recent weeks, pushed down by negative reaction to his handling of the Russia investigations, and he's seen some slippage among Republicans as well. A third of Americans say his approach to the issue has made their opinion of him worse, and his handling of that matter gets lower marks than any of his others, like the economy or terrorism, for which he rates higher."

He rates higher on the economy and terrorism. And he is terrible on both of those things! Maude save us.

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[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Zachary Hansen at USA Today: It's So Hot in Phoenix, They Can't Fly Planes. "The extreme heat forecast for Phoenix on Tuesday has caused the cancellation of 20 American Airlines flights out of Sky Harbor International Airport. According to a statement from American Airlines, the American Eagle regional flights use the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. Tuesday's forecast for Phoenix included a high of 120 degrees."

So if Donald Trump's indifference to and/or collusion with Russia to destroy every system doesn't doom our transportation infrastructure, his refusal to address climate change will!

Lisa Needham at Rewire: The First Amendment Is in Increasing Danger Under a Trump Administration. "We live in an era of increasing crackdowns on public protests and whistleblowing: real, and increasingly effective, attacks on the First Amendment. The First Amendment, of course, promises us the right to free speech, but it also promises us the rights to assemble and to associate. In practical terms, this generally means that you can associate with whomever you choose to, assemble together in any fashion, and speak out against the government in whatever way you see fit. One of the best ways to ensure people don't exercise their First Amendment rights is to make it far too dangerous and costly to do so. That is what is happening right now."

[CN: Murder; Islamophobia] Sameer Rao at Colorlines: Darwin Martinez Torres Charged With Killing Nabra Hassanen. "The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) announced a murder charge against Darwin Martinez Torres yesterday (June 18) for allegedly killing 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen. Police attribute the killing to 'road rage,' but the Muslim teen's parents blamed Islamophobic racism in statements to The Guardian and The Washington Post. ...Mahmoud Hassanen, the slain teen's father, told The Guardian...that he believes the killer targeted his daughter and her friends because of their clothing, which identified them as Muslim: 'He followed the girls, and all of them had headcloths, meaning they are Muslim, and he had a baseball stick.' Hassanen's mother Sawan Gazzzar echoed that sentiment to The Washington Post. 'I'm sure the guy hit my daughter because she's Muslim and she was wearing the hijab,' she said."

[CN: Addiction] Mona Chalabi at the Guardian: Opioid-Related Hospital Visits up 99% in Less Than a Decade, US Data Shows. "Opioid-related hospital visits in the US rose 99% and inpatient stays increased 64% in less than a decade, according to government data released on Tuesday. Each day, US hospitals received 3,500 people for opioid-related issues in 2014, compared with 1,800 in 2005, a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reveals." Does Donald Trump have a plan for this? No. Did Hillary Clinton? Yes. Will the GOP healthcare bill make it worse? Absolutely. Do they care? Nope.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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